RainDance National Celebrates Its First Anniversary!

RainDance National Resort & Golf ’s one-year anniversary is July 12th. Fred Funk and I are so proud to have designed a course on such a spectacular piece of land. It’s been amazing to watch the maturity of such a wonderful golf course, not only the course itself, but the wonderful professional staff in the most fun and unique temporary clubhouse we’ve seen.

Jeff Orr, Kaelen Waters, and RainDance National’s grounds crew are doing a fantastic job growing in the greens, tees, fairways, roughs, and native areas. It’s very hard to believe vast areas of the course were seeded less than two years ago. Kudos to their exhaustive efforts dealing with one of the harshest winters and unbelievable rainy spring. The weather has been challenging to say the least. Despite all these challenges, the grow-in is the best we have seen.

Fred and I are thrilled with how the course is playing at this early stage. We obviously understand, and is typical, that a new course plays more difficult in its infancy. All are striving to develop mowing patterns to eliminate rough areas and expand fairways so the ball will gather toward the center of fairways with low cut roughs that prevent shots entering native areas. After spring rains, the native areas are lush. The grounds crew is diligently working to present playable native areas whether by mowing or allowing them to become dry and droughty.

The course was designed to preserve the wonderful topography by allowing the holes to flow across the terrain. We could have eliminated some blind shots, but this would have made those holes appear unnatural. For this reason, most of the best golf courses in the world, from Augusta National to the links land of St. Andrews, have blind shots. 

Each hole was designed from the green site back to the tees. The goal was to make each hole distinct while allowing multiple creative ways to play them, with the closely mown apron areas and large undulating greens.

It will take three years for the fescue turf to mature, and as it does, roughs and fairways will be kept drier. Fairway areas will widen, and the groomed greens aprons will give the course more bounce and roll. This will encourage creativity in approaching greens with shorter approach clubs using the topography for run-up shots to pin placements.

This is Classic Strategic Golf Architecture that emphasizes the use of contours allowing a golfer to flight shots and use the ground to play the course. This style of architecture challenges the skilled golfer while allowing the average golfer to use his/her creativity to score well. In designing RainDance National, Fred and I walked every part of each hole multiple times, fashioning turf lines and envisioning mowing patterns of firm, rolling fairways and green sites.

Architecture emphasizing the use of the ground game is found at some of the very best major tournament venues like Augusta National (during dry periods), most recently the U.S. Open at LA Country Club (without tall grass around greens) and at Hoylake during the British Open Championship.

The course will play quicker and be more enjoyable from a more forward tees than you normally play. If you typically play blue or white tees, play RainDance National from blue/white or white/green tee combination shown on the scorecard.... especially on windy days. You will easily learn the best line of play on blind tee shots and score much better.

Also suggest foursome games that allow the winner of a hole to choose the tee on the next hole. The par 3’s are especially fun using more forward tees on 8, 12 & 17 and to play further back on 6 & 14. 

The purple tees are positioned for the scratch or plus handicap only.

Fred and I will look forward watching Colorado’s best amateurs play from purple tees during the Colorado Amateur. This tournament will be a great indicator of how the course would play in a professional event.

Enjoy RainDance National,
Harrison and Fred